The Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by causing negative effects on the areas of the brain responsible for regulating the thoughts, emotions, perception and behavior.

Causes of schizophrenia

There are various causes to which the appearance of this pathology is attributed, however, despite scientific advances and continuous studies in this area, it has not yet been detected exactly what causes the disease and its subsequent appearance symptoms.

One of the factors involved in the onset of the disease is the hereditary factor, it has been proven that there is a genetic predisposition to suffer from schizophrenia if it has been present in other members of the family system.

Another trigger is the use of certain toxic substances such as cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines. It has also appeared in the midst of social situations that generate stress in the individual.

What is schizophrenia?

It is a serious and incurable mental illness that appears as a product of an alteration in the functioning in certain areas of the central nervous system, which generates an imbalance in the brain at a chemical level.

These changes in the processes carried out by neurotransmitters at the brain level, especially those related to serotonin and dopamine, have been observed in patients with schizophrenia.

The alteration of brain activity will generate problems in terms of the way of thinking, the way of feeling and the habitual behavior of the person with schizophrenia.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

The symptomatology of schizophrenia resembles the typical conditions of psychosis insofar as it affects or produces a disconnection with reality. This disease is devastating for those who suffer from it, as well as for their family environment.

     The main symptoms are:

Delusions or delusions: The patient adheres to certain beliefs that do not correspond to reality, at least not exactly, since sometimes these compositions of the mind may contain extracts from real situations. These, according to the thoughts under which they are based, can be classified into:

  • Somatic delusions: The person claims to experience a series of bodily discomforts that are the product of an external agent that is attacking him and that intends to harm him.
  • Delusions of persecution: The patient believes that he is being followed permanently by some special person, group or institution. He tends to experience constant paranoia and a fear of being observed, which is why he cannot feel safe even inside his home because sometimes they argue that devices have been placed for his surveillance.
  • Erotomanic delusions: The patient will affirm that a special person, who may be a public figure, who has no idea of ​​his existence, feels deep feelings of love towards him.
  • Celotypical delusions: The individual blindly believes in the theory that he is deceived by another person who may be his partner and in his brain he has made a quite convincing story around it.
  • Delusions of grandeur: The person calls himself a kind of chosen or sent from God. It is also likely that someone with special and supernatural powers is created.
  • Delusion of reference: In these cases, individuals feel like the center of all eyes and claim to be in the middle of everyone’s conversations.
  • Delusion of harm: Patients insist on affirming that there are people interested in harming them and even that there are plans being developed against them.

Hallucinations: These are perceptual sensations that the person assures that they come through their senses and that in reality are not in accordance with reality.

     Hallucinations can be of the following types:

  • Auditory: It is revealed when the patient claims to hear voices or people that are inside his head, which give him orders or inform him of certain things. This can happen in the presence of people without the disease who cannot hear anything at all.
  • Olfactory type: The person creates a certain relationship between the smells that they claim to perceive and the presence of other people in their environment.
  • Gustatory: The individual with schizophrenia associates the taste of a certain food with another product that may not be related to what they are eating.
  • Visual: These people claim to see things or people that others who are in the same room cannot see.
  • Tactile type: The patient experiences strange and inexplicable sensations in his body that he attributes to certain stimuli.

Alterations in thinking, cognition, behavior and affectivity

Chemical imbalances at the brain level end up negatively affecting the areas in which thoughts are processed, influencing them in such a way that they are no longer coherent and there is no common thread between them. The skill or ability to associate ideas and create will be lacking.

On the other hand, at a cognitive level certain complications arise such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating or performing daily tasks in which you must use your creativity.

In the affective area, a disconnection with the people around them is revealed, which translates into the inability to express feelings in any way or to show love for someone.

In the behavioral aspect, which is one of the most affected, he may exhibit atypical behaviors to those usual in him before the onset of the disease. These behaviors in many cases fall into the category of inappropriateness because they go against social conventions.

Changes in their behavior patterns are also related to neglect in their physical appearance, as well as in personal hygiene caused by demotivation and depression to which they are usually quite prone. Social isolation is also a behavior associated with schizophrenia.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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